Amateur Golfer Nick Dunlap Makes History with PGA Tour Victory

In an extraordinary display of skill and composure, 20-year-old amateur golfer Nick Dunlap clinched his first PGA Tour event, The American Express, becoming the first amateur to achieve this feat since Phil Mickelson in 1991.

Despite his historic win, Dunlap, a University of Alabama student, will not receive the $1.5 million prize money due to his amateur status.

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Dunlap’s win was sealed with a nerve-wracking six-foot par putt on the final hole, edging out South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout by one shot.

Finishing the week on 29 under par, Dunlap not only claimed the title but also broke the tournament scoring record for a 72-hole event.

His final round at La Quinta’s Pete Dye-designed Stadium course was a rollercoaster, including a double-bogey on the seventh hole, which he countered with three subsequent birdies.

As per the United States Golf Association (USGA) rules, amateur players cannot play for prize money. Consequently, the substantial winner’s cheque went to runner-up Bezuidenhout.

Despite this, Dunlap’s victory grants him a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour and entry into prestigious events like the Masters, the US PGA Championship, and The Players Championship.

His performance at The American Express, where he was the sole amateur among 156 players, has sparked widespread admiration, including praise from Mickelson himself.

Dunlap’s victory is more than just a personal triumph; it marks a significant moment in golf history. As the youngest amateur winner on the PGA Tour since 1910, his success challenges the norms of professional golf and highlights the extraordinary potential of young, amateur golfers in the sport.

With the golf world buzzing about his future, Dunlap faces a pivotal decision. His win at The American Express has undoubtedly opened doors, but whether he steps through them as an amateur or a professional remains to be seen.

What is clear, however, is that Nick Dunlap has made an indelible mark on the world of golf, showcasing that talent, determination, and a love for the game can lead to remarkable achievements.

Ed Welton

Founder, Editor

Ed is the founder and editor at EEE Golf. He’s been playing golf for over 20 years, competing in many top amateur events. He’s played courses all over the world and played with some of the best players in the game. His aim is to help educate people about the game of golf and give insights into the sport he loves most.

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